Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Toddlers can be quite active, so having toys to keep them busy are essential. Though there are tons of picks out there, ride-on toys are great options to consider if you're looking for something that'll entertain your toddler for hours.
Whether you choose a ride-on toy a toddler has to power themselves or one that comes with a separate power source, both promote the development of gross motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination, says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist in New York City. Some of these toys—particularly those with different levers, knobs, and switches—even help children learn about cause and effect.
Here, the best ride-on toys for kids.
Peg Perego John Deere Ground Force Tractor with Trailer
They’ll be plowing up a good time on this John Deere tractor from Peg Perego. This mean, green ride is powered by a rechargeable battery, and kids operate it with foot pedals, just like a real car. It works on grass, dirt, gravel, and pavement, and it even features a working FM radio. Talk about a sweet ride.
Hape Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike
If you love the old-fashioned look of wooden kids' toys, you'll love this scoot around rider from Hape. It features four rubber-coated wheels, and little ones push off the ground to get it going, which improves strength and balance. It’s recommended for ages 12 months to 3 years, and it makes for a great starter set of wheels.
Little Tikes Princess Horse & Carriage
Who wouldn't love a horse and carriage ride? Well, this kinda gives your child that experience. This manual ride-on toy can be controlled by both kids and adults, with cup holders for both. The horse seamlessly glides and turns as the carriage is being steered, and even makes realistic clip-clop sounds.
Best Choice Products Kids 12V 2-Seater Licensed Land Rover Ride On
This is one sweet, statement-making ride. Kids 3 and up will ride in style in this battery powered Land Rover. Allow your little one to drive the car on their own or you can use the remote control to help them out. The max speed is 3.7 miles per hour and the 4-wheel suspension makes for a smooth ride. A device can be connected to the dashboard to play music, there are working lights, and even the sound of an engine starting.
Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll 'N Trike
Part stroller, part tricycle, this pick from Radio Flyer grows with your child. Recommended for ages 9 months to 5 years, it converts from a seated stroller that mom and dad can push to a classic trike for when they’re ready to take off on their own. It can hold kids up to 49 pounds and has useful features like a cup holder, tray, and storage compartment.
Strider Sport Balance Bike
Kids as young as 18 months old can tear things up on two wheels with this balance bike from Strider. It’s specially designed to keep younger kids upright and riding along without training wheels. The inseam height is easily adjustable between 12-20 inches, so it grows with your child.
AppleRound Blue Horse Hopper
No wheels here! Instead, this jumping horse lets them bounce about on their adventures. It's easy to inflate with the included pump, and then kids are ready to take off. It’s designed for kids who are 3 to 5 years old, and parents say it’s great exercise and a super fun alternative to traditional ride-on toys.
Step2 Whisper Ride II
When toddlers still need a push from time to time, this Step2 is a great option. With a steering wheel, a horn to beep, and other car features, it’s more fun than a traditional stroller, and a seat belt keeps them securely in place during the ride. It’s recommended for kids 18 months to 4 years and up to 50 pounds.
YBIKE Ride On Toy and Walking Buddy
This interesting looking toy is full of fun possibilities that will grow as your child develops. As they begin to explore walking, it can be used as a “walking buddy,” and as they grow, it converts to a ride-on toy. It has won awards for its innovative design that helps toddlers develop motor and cognitive skills while they play. The wide, long base ensures it won’t tip over as toddlers move about.
As long as there’s a smooth surface, it can be used inside or out and has non-marking rubber wheels, so you don’t have to worry about scuffs on your floors.
Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug, Ladybug, Small
This ride-on toy is as cute as a bug—a ladybug that is! The body is cushioned and a handlebar helps them hang on while they use their legs to scoot forward, backward, and around in circles. It comes in two sizes—small (for kids 18 to 36 months) and large (for kids 3 and up). It also comes in versions featuring other fun animals like a bunny, a pig, and a hedgehog.
Little Tikes Rocking Horse
The best ride-on toys don't actually have to go anywhere to be fun. Made of durable plastic with easy-to-grip handles, this rocking horse is perfect for toddlers (it's recommended for ages 12 to 36 months). It comes fully assembled so it’s ready to ride right out of the box.
Mega Bloks Ride On Caterpillar with Excavator
Little builders will go wild for this ride-on caterpillar that comes complete with an excavator and shovel. It comes with ten blocks to scoop up, and there’s a compartment under the seat to store them, along with other treasures. It’s recommended for ages 1 to 4, and parents say it’s a great toy for indoor or outdoor use.
Kiddieland My First Minnie Ride On
Little ones can ride with one of their favorite Disney friends on this ride featuring Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse. It has four wheels, and little legs power it by pushing off the floor. Extra features like music, a telephone, and a honking horn make for more fun on the go.
VTech 2 In 1 Learn & Zoom Motor Bike
Vroom, vroom! They’ll zoom into fun with this motorbike from VTech. Not only does it provide a great ride, but it can also play music and help them learn colors, shapes, and even road safety. It’s recommended for ages 1 to 3 and can be converted from a bike to a tricycle for kiddos who are still mastering balance.
Costzon Ride-On Motorcycle
Kids as young as 3 years old can enjoy this battery charged ride-on motorcycle. A single charge provides up to 40 minutes of fun. The foot pedals make take off easy and the three wheels provide stability. There's a horn button and even a working headlight.
VTech Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train
Talk about a smart ride. This train from VTech has all sorts of learning and fun opportunities. It features a storybook, clock, alphabet blocks, and more, and it can transform from a floor toy to a walker to a ride-on toy and even a wagon so kids can haul around their treasures. It’s recommended for ages 1 to 3 and has plenty to keep kids interested for hours. All aboard!
Lil' Rider Ride on Wiggle Car
This car by Lil' Rider is controlled by wiggling the steering wheel back and forth instead of by pedals or pushing. Kids steer with the handles up top, and there are no bells and whistles and batteries needed—just pure, kid-powered fun. It’s recommended for kids 2 to 6 years old, and it can be used on any flat surface, indoors or out, though parents say it doesn’t work so well on carpet.
Lascoota 2-in-1 Kick Scooter with Removable Seat
This is a scooter with some serious staying power. For little ones starting at about age 2, it works as a ride-on toy, but as they grow older and stronger, the seat comes off, and it works as a traditional scooter. In all modes, the wheels light up as they go for a fun, flashy ride.
Radio Flyer Scoot-About Sport
Long before your child is ready for a bike, they can start practicing on this Scoot-About. It has four wide-set wheels, which are powered by little legs pushing off the ground. It has a wide seat that lifts up to store blocks, stuffed animals, and more.
Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike
For motorcycle-obsessed tikes, there’s this Harley-Davidson-inspired trike from Fisher-Price. Designed for kids ages 2 to 5, it's powered by simple pedals on the front wheel. Large, sturdy wheels and hand grips help them tear up the town safely. And as for the cute factor, it’s off the charts!
"Fun, fast, and pedal-powered, Fisher-Price’s Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Tough Trike will be a sure hit with the little biker in your life."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
What to Look For in a Ride-On Toys For Toddlers
When shopping for toddlers, you want to make sure that the one you pick is age-appropriate, says Kristin Morency Goldman, senior advisor of strategic communications for The Toy Association. The age recommendations on toy packaging are a good judge of how safe and engaging a toy will be and will help steer you away from toys that may be too advanced for toddlers.
When it comes to ride-on toys, safety is of particular concern. Toddlers should always wear a helmet when using toys like trikes, bikes, and scooters, says Dr. Natasha Burgert, a pediatrician in South Overland Park, Kansas.
Because ride-on toys are often kept outdoors, look for toys that can be safely used in these environments and that are built to withstand the elements. As any parent knows, even if you have the best intentions of putting your child’s toys away at night, they’ll inevitably get left out from time to time.
Toddlers motor skills are rapidly developing. Because ride-on toys can be very expensive, it’s a good idea to look for options that will grow with your child, like a balance bike or scooter with an adjustable seat or handlebar or a car that can be used as a walker and later a ride-on toy.